Uada - Devoid of Light
Atmospheric/Raw Black Metal
5 songs (33'48")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Finding information on black metal entity Uada took effort since the band is a bit of a mystery. They originated in Portland, Oregon, and arrived on the scene recently with the Devoid of Light full-length, presenting their wares through a series of West Coast metal festivals. All four bandmembers covering up their faces with a facepalm in the only photoshoot so far with Peter Beste, Uada (“haunted” in Latin) delivers the aura of furtiveness and mystique.

Musicwise, if you were to start listening to Devoid of Light with the closer Black Autumn, White Spring, you would be allowed to assume that Uada is reflective of the geography they come from, the song very much in the tradition of Cascadian black metal. Rapid toned down blast and shifting spectral melodies reminisce of nature and spiritual exaltation as well as bring Wolves in the Throne Room earlier work to mind. Yet, even in that song, Uada has an underlying darker, more steeped in debauchery, streak which shows up full force in Natus Eclipsim. Thundering double bass and horns up headbanging, with Natus Eclipsim I was completely convinced that Uada is concerned in reflecting nature as much as they are interested in channeling their inner raw Sargeist. Powerful rolling Our Pale Departure brings together meanness and a touch folk, while S.N.M. takes the roof off completely in its deranged maddening dance. Jake Superchi’s vocals are mostly cackling, yet legible, but he can bring forth a suicidal howl at times (S.N.M., Black Autumn, White Spring), so he sounds unstable or purely crazy and makes me think Nattramn of Swedish Silencer.

With more viscous resinous title track, as well as throughout the album, Uada shows an excellent knack for skilled songwriting, playing repeating parts, but juxtaposing them well, so things never drag on. Shape shifting solos, like the one closing Black Autumn, White Spring also probably hint that some in Uada have a more formal music education, but it is just a guess.

Overall, Devoid of Light is a surprisingly strong effort, appealing to both fans of melancholic and atmospheric black metal as well as to those more into rawer, yet still melodic, side of this extreme genre.

Killing Songs :
Natus Eclipsim, Our Pale Departure, S.N.M.
Alex quoted 86 / 100
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